Scott Sewell should not lose sleep if the greetings he receives in debut appearances as U.S. Minerals Management Service director seem muted. His audience has shrunk. There aren't as many people interested in federal offshore oil and gas leasing as there were to greet his predecessors. That's what should keep him awake nights. So far, Sewell's performance has been standard. He meets with oil industry officials seeking more federal leasing and with environmentalists seeking less. He sets a goal of balance between the perpetual antagonists. He hopes to reduce the emotionalism so characteristic of leasing disputes. That...

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